The Rising Health Disparities of the Elderly

The rising health disparities of the elderly population
Dawn Targon RN
NU 402 Community Health Nursing
      Professor Martha Bronstein

  Health disparity is defined as inequality in health or the gaps in the quality of health care across races, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Health disparities can also be defined as the significant differences between one population and another. The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 describe these disparities as differences in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival rates. It is necessary to narrow these gaps in health care which can be done with political and governmental changes or modifications. A worldwide trend that needs to address issues and concerns for quality medical care and protection of rights is in the geriatric population. As any other citizen, elderly patients have the same rights.   Elderly individuals are classified as a vulnerable population due to the inability to exercise their rights, provide performed consent, and protect their legal rights from being violated.   The risk of vulnerability is based upon age, ineffective communication skills, functional status,   changes   in financial or social circumstances, health, and chronic or terminal illness.   This paper will discuss healthcare disparities of the elderly, the need for community support, government programs, primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention, Minnesota wheel, and proposed legislation in place to assist the elderly population.
    Health Disparities
The American population is predicted to double within the next 25 years for individuals age 65 and older due to increased life expectancies and the aging of the baby boomers. All the while the population is becoming more diverse which increases the issues of health disparities.   The elderly population has various functions and physiological reactions of their bodies which gradually slow...